The Yu Darvish sweepstakes continues to drag on into mid-January, as the markets top pitcher remains unsigned.
However, despite Darvish still not agreeing to sign with a team yet, the interest is still very high for multiple teams – and the Twins have confirmed they are one of them.
Twins owner Jim Pohlan says he would ‘OK’ any deal involving Darvish, even going as far as to say he’s, ” intrigued by [Darvish] as anybody and attracted to [signing him] as anybody.” Adding a player like Darvish would be a massive signal to the MLB that the Twins are finally back to relevancy.
After an impressive 2017, that was capped off by an exciting Wild Card game, the Twins adding Darvish to their club could catapult them to the top of the AL central. Of course, there are other teams involving in the process as well.
According to Jeff Wilson of Star-Telegram, Darvish had narrowed the search down to the Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, and Astros as of Jan. 10. Of course, with Houston acquiring Gerrit Cole from the Pirates they are likely out. Reports also surfaced later that the Dodgers were involving in some of the Darvish talks, but both L.A. and New York would need to shed salary to avoid paying the luxury tax in 2018.
As this point, most of have narrowed the teams to two, possibly three teams, being the Twins, Cubs, and potentially the Rangers. And some have even hinted at the Twins being the favorites to sign the 31-year-old Japanese superstar.
Maybe the biggest advantage the Twins have over teams like the Rangers or Cubs is the financial flexibility. As it stands now, Minnesota does not have a player on the current roster signed past 2019, with payroll likely falling around the $105 million range for the up-coming season. And while other teams in the MLB are pinching their pennies in hopes of landing one of the potential superstar free agents in the 2018-19 free agency class, the Twins have made one thing clear: They’re won’t be budget limitations in 2018, and beyond.